EasyJet is planning for a transition to technology that could begin to reduce carbon emissions to zero by the middle of the next decade, according to Lahiru Ranasinghe, the low-cost carrier’s head of net zero.

Speaking at the Aviation Carbon 2023 event near Heathrow, the former British Airways and Virgin Atlantic executive said: “The world around us has changed and from a business perspective we are getting a lot of attention.

“it is going to be difficult to decarbonise this industry and we have to use everything available to us. We have to work on the near term, the medium term and the long term all at the same time.”

Ranasinghe said that from 2035, easyJet can “conceivably start transitioning that whole operation to zero carbon emissions aircraft”.

That effort is being propelled forward thanks to easyJet’s Hydrogen in Aviation (HIA) alliance with Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

EasyJet carbon reduction plan

EasyJet is already an efficient operator, with carbon emissions intensity around 18% lower than the global average.

In 2021, the company demonstrated its first ever SAF flight with 30% blend out of London Gatwick, and it has carried out ultra low emissions turnaround trials at Bristol Airport, which resulted in a 97% reduction in CO2.

The low-cost carrier has also taken part in ground-breaking partnerships with Airbus and Rolls-Royce, and in November 2021 it signed up to the UN-backed Race to Zero.

EasyJet is targeting a 35% reduction in emissions intensity by 2035, and by 2050 net zero carbon emissions with a 78% reduction in intensity.

A key piece of technology aiding this effort is Descent Profile Optimisation (DPO), Ranasinghe said.

EasyJet is upgrading its fleet with the Airbus system as well as a fuel-saving enhancement to the aircraft’s on-board Flight Management System (FMS) performance database using Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) to reduce noise impact on the ground.

The European short-haul airline will become the biggest operator worldwide using these combined solutions.
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